Welcome Paper Girls Time Traveler Lovers!
On July 22, 2022 Team WHR was very excited as we prepared to visit the Paper Girls on Prime Video Press Room. Paper Girls is a science fiction series we have waited six years years to learn about after the Comic Book version received the Eisner Award for Best New Series in 2016! The comic book series began publication on October 7, 2015 and concluded on July 31, 2019 after thirty hit issues, shortly before the television series began production at Amazon and Legendary Studios.
Originally published by Image Comics, the Paper Girls has been brought to our screens on Prime Video by the comic book creators Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, the Eisner Award winning series is a fabulous science fiction time travel production starring Fina Strazza as KJ Brandman, Camryn Jones as Tiffany Quilkin, Sofia Rosinsky as McKenzie ‘Mac’ Coyle, and Riley Lai Nelet as Erin Tieng as the twelve year old Paper Girls who are catapulted in time from 1988 to 2019, back to 1999 and then 1974 to face extreme danger to their lives, and those that they encounter in time.
Our heroes find themselves caught in a temporal war between two factions that seek to control the fate of humankind throughout time.
A shadowy group known as the Old Watch, who controls the technology over all time periods, operates from apparent safety, controlling time from being changed in the past from a distant future. The Old Watch seeks to avoid any changes in the timelines of the past that could adversely impact their dominance over time.
The Old Watch is hunting down a group that is seeking to overthrow their iron fist control over time against known as the Standard Time Fighters Underground or STF Underground who we meet via a humble and friendly, but seemingly less than formidable character named Larry Radakowski portrayed by veteran actor Nate Corddry.
The STF Underground as a rebel force is seeking to subvert the Old Watch paradigm consisting at first of Adina Porter who stars as the Prioress who we see in six of the eight episodes, and Jason Mantzoukas, known as Grandfather, a rather nasty character who appears in the last three episodes.
During our time in the Press Room, courtesy of Wolf-Kasteler Public Relations, we were delighted by the enthusiasm of the four young actors and the creators.
Each actor in the Paper Girls series is excellent in their roles. Each of these wonderful actors shared details about how they learned details about the 1980’s and the late 1990’s, how excited they were to share their adventures with viewers, how they were hired for their roles.
We note the similarities to the The End Of Eternity and fringe (discussed below), that the creators were familiar with, and how they all look forward to a potential second season of Paper Girls on Prime Video!
Unfortunately, after spending truly quality time with the cast and creators, we learned subsequent to our Press Room Paper Girls visit that our HD video camera’s high definition external microphone had failed causing the loss of all forty plus minutes of audio on the video. We were gutted to learn of this development.
We therefore include an outstanding interview segment with the cast from Screen Rant below for your enjoyment.
Back to The Future, The Time Machine, The End Of Eternity, Fringe and Paper Girls:
Unlike the Back to the Future movie series where meeting one’s self in an alternate timeline could destroy the fabric of the universe, our journey with the Paper Girls heroes goes across time from 1988 where we meet older versions of the Paper Girls. Fortunately, no such universe destruction occurs. Specifically, we meet Ali Wong who portrays the adult version of Erin, Sekai Abenì as the adult Tiffany, Delia Cunningham as the adult KJ, and Kellee Stewart as Dr. Carol Quilkin, who we learn is the inventor of time travel utilized by the Old Watch. We also meet various members of the Paper Girls families in the future timelines that affect the final outcome of events.
Readers and entertainment viewers have always enjoyed time travel adventures beginning with The Time Machine written by H.G. Wells in 1895 and popularized in the 1960 movie version directed by the legendary George Pal. In this classic, the protagonist escapes the past to save the future of humanity enslaved as breeding stock for the evil Morlock’s who eat them!
Paper Girls story arc is somewhat leveraged from the classic science fiction masterpiece novel The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov that was published in 1955. Although it was attempted to be brought to the movie screen several times, with protagonists similar to the STF, The End Of Eternity never was produced either a movie or television program.
Instead, a hit television series, Fringe (2008 to 2013) by Bad Robot Productions, produced at Warner Brothers, envisioned a future where a nefarious group known as The Observers made changes in the past to ensure their own survival in the future. This including bringing their own temporal agents and supplies from the future, traveling through time to enslave humankind in the present.
The Paper Girls group Old Watch is somewhat similar to The Observers in Fringe and The Eternal’s in The End of Eternity that used Time Kettles to travel back to the past to make major to minor adjustments in the timeline to keep things the way that The Eternal’s wanted them to be. In fact, the final scenes of Paper Girls show what appear to be Time Kettles, or Time Ships that travel to the past and the future.
Years later, Isaac Asimov wove The End Of Eternity story arc into his broader Foundation Series by hinting in the Foundation’s series of books, set in a universe where Eternity had once existed, but was destroyed by one of The Eternals (Harlan from The End of Eternity). This led to an all human galaxy without time travel that ties out with the protagonist Harlan’s final actions in The End of Eternity. Fringe follows a similar good ending where evil members of The Observers are defeated.
Paper Girls Across Time:
In Paper Girls, the story arc generally follows the concepts from the terrific thirty episode comic book series, but with modifications that do a nice job of adapting the concept to the small screen. In season one, we find a similar conundrum where our heroes get caught up in the temporal war.
Near the end of the series they are taken aboard the Old Watch Time Ship controlled by Grandfather to have their memories erased, and to be subsequently reinserted into their past lives as if nothing had ever happened in the first place. However, our heroes memories are not erased and they end up in a time period before they were born!
Without revealing major spoilers since we believe this superb science fiction adventure series should be watched by the viewers themselves, we will not publish a blow by blow, scene by scene review of the Paper Girls, but we do include some favorite moments from the series that do not reveal the overall series story arc.
Instead, we will say that the eight episode series sets up the time travel adventure nicely in episodes one through four, explodes into action in episode five, returns to a slow boil in episodes six and seven and then blows the viewers mind in episode eight.
In the final superb sequences of episode eight, with the help of the Prioress, who has reconsidered her role in the Old Watch, helps Mac and KJ escape in a time ship to an unknown destination in time. All four were supposed to be aboard, but the Prioress is shot and Erin and Tiffany stay behind to help her.
Subsequently, after using future medical technology that begins to heal the Prioress after she was shot by one of Grandfather’s minions, Erin and Tiffany escape the Old Watch in another time ship as Grandfather rushes to stop them. Erin and Tiffany find themselves at a drive-in movie theater that appears to be showing the 1974 film The Longest Yard, some twelve years before they were born in an earlier time period!
The final scenes in the excellent eighth episode sets the foundation for a season two that is rumored to have begun production in late June of 2022 according to a source that we cannot confirm at this time.
Although a Paper Girls season two has not been officially announced as renewed by Amazon Studios, the final scenes set up a great cliffhanger opportunity for launching a second season which we hope will be announced in the near future! In the meantime, we include the Paper Girls panel from San Diego Comic-Con 2022 for your enjoyment courtesy of Magic In the Numbers!
We at Team WHR will be back in the near future with more of your favorite entertainment convention, television series and movie analysis. In the meantime, please feel free to share this article with your friends, co-workers and or family and leave your comments! We look forward to you visiting our dedicated review and analysis web site here in the future! Or as many of our readers and visitors often do, visit Team WHR on Twitter, or visit me on Twitter by clicking the text links or images avatars in this news story. I and TeamWHR look forward to Seeing You on The Other Side!“
Kenn of #TeamWHR